The global COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted almost every industry while triggering new ways of conducting various processes in the respective sector. E-learning is one of the sectors that got affected the most by it. It has changed the teaching-learning process online. Some might see it as a small change, but it is a completely new way of education. With most nations already initiating e-learning in their schools, it is now becoming crucial to adapt to these changes. The same can be noticed in India, where schools have adopted the new normal of e-learning with varying degrees of success. It includes many progressive schools that have already done a lot for the adoption of technology in order to quickly transition to complete online delivery of teaching during the current crisis with significant success. It benefits everyone, i.e., schools, students, and their parents. COVID-19 has caused a lot of damage to the world, but it has also benefited it in some ways. For instance, it has made e-learning one of the safest and easiest ways to impart education for those who want to acquire new skills and explore new career options. Now, e-learning goes way beyond the purpose of learning academics since it also conducts extra-curricular activities and informative online sessions along with online conferences and webinars. During COVID-19, the demand for e-learning rose significantly, and it will continue to do so as society starts adapting to “social distancing” post this pandemic. But is it a foolproof strategy? Are there no loopholes? And what are the benefits we are talking about? Just like any other teaching method, e-learning also has its positives and negatives. With this blog, we help you understand those benefits and the challenges in e-learning that may arise while creating strategies for more efficient delivery of the lessons and measuring their effectiveness. Let’s get started! What are the Advantages of E-learning?
• Efficiency E-learning brings a very efficient approach to deliver lessons by using videos, sharing resource links, and serving assessment tests. And the best part is that you can do it all with just one click. Not only this, but you can record the lectures and can share them for reference with a wide range of audiences. Not to mention that you can teach more students at a time—way more than you could teach in a classroom. • Affordability E-learning is quite affordable as compared to physical learning since it primarily eliminates two major cost points: real estate and transportation. The course or study material is accessible online to all the students, where they can access it as many times as they want. • More Presence Since e-learning allows students to take classes anytime from the comfort of their homes, there are fewer chances of students missing out on classes. • Increased Access and Reach E-learning can happen in any place—all it takes is a smart device with network connectivity. If there were no pandemics, students would have to come to school to attend classes, which is only feasible for students living in the same city. • Supports Inclusion It has been noticed that many children who usually withdraw in a class environment (shy students) open up in online classes. It most likely is the case that they will be far more forthcoming with their questions and participation since they are at the comfort of their homes.
What Challenges You May Face in E-learning? • Not Appropriate for All Students often have a dominant learning style that they follow rigorously. Some prefer visuals, some auditory, and some kinesthetics. Hence, e-learning, which requires students to sit in front of a device and understand the lesson, may not work for everyone. • Focus Deficit As there is a lack of face-to-face interaction, boredom can occur easily, and some students tend to lose focus for a longer period during virtual lectures. It requires the teachers to keep their online sessions crisp and interactive enough so that the students don’t lose interest. As they say, make learning fun! • Technology Issues Students residing in rural areas where we have a lot of connectivity problems may face difficulties while accessing online lectures. Even a small break in the data connectivity can cause a lack of continuity in the learning for the students, which can be detrimental. • Lack of Social Interaction We learn many things every day when we interact with other people. E-learning kills all the physical interactions that students and teachers generally have if they go to school for classes. Moreover, students learn from each other by discussing various topics amongst groups. It won’t be the case in e-learning. • Teacher Training To make e-learning a success for your school or education institute, you will have to train your teachers on how to use technology to deliver seamless learning experiences to students. And training them is not going to be easy. Teachers need to be technology-friendly and must invest more time in aligning themselves with the latest technology updates to make sure that they can conduct their online classes with no problem.
Endnote While all of this seems manageable, it will take time. You also need to think of ways to manage screen time for students since too much of it can affect their health. Moreover, it is very dicey to decide whether to invest in e-learning or not because we don’t know what model will work once things go back to normal.